Do You Have a Superpower?

If you could have any superpower, which would you choose? Would you fly like Superman, run like the Flash, or climb walls like Spiderman? You may already have a superpower – you could be a supertaster!

Supertasters have more taste buds than the average person. They are especially sensitive to bitter tastes, and tend to avoid very bitter foods and beverages, like coffee and most green vegetables. You might be a supertaster if you really hate broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or spinach,

In the laboratory, scientists use a very bitter chemical called propylthiouracil (PROP) to determine tasting ability. Those who can’t taste it at all (about 25%) are labeled non-tasters. Tasters are people who can taste it (about 50%), but don’t find it too unpleasant. Supertasters (25%) find PROP absolutely disgusting.

You can do a simple experiment at home to see if you are a non-taster, a taster, or a supertaster. You’ll need the following supplies:

-A one-inch square of wax paper

-Hole punch

-Blue food coloring

-Cotton swab

-Magnifying glass

-Mirror, or a partner who’s willing to look at your tongue

Use the cotton swab to coat part of your tongue with food coloring. Punch a hole in the wax paper and place it on your tongue. Use the magnifying glass and mirror (or partner) to count the number of pink bumps inside the circle. How many did you see?

Less than 15: non-taster

15-35: taster

More than 35: supertaster

Since supertasters avoid green leafy vegetables, they’re at risk for health conditions like colon cancer. Green vegetables are key to your oral and general health. Dr. Foust has tips for keeping you and your family healthy. Call our Ankeny office today at (515) 965-0230 to find out how the right diet keeps you in super condition.